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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 227

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have been effectually choked by the throng of bush- 1 and-faggot-laden animals, which looked like " Birnam-4 wood marching to Dunsinane. " In my heart 11 immediately forgave the poor people ; I knew that! the man with the axe who marched behind was asl ignorant, and not so strong, as his donkey who carried! the load. They had been both subjects of a bad! government, and it was not their fault that they werej despoilers. You might as well blame the wind fori the destruction of venerable trees ; or the locusts for* devouring the crops ; they were ungoverned, and) unfortunately the instinct of uncivilised man is to1 destroy. I shall say more upon this important subject] when we arrive among the last remaining forests o i the Trôôdos mountains. W e rode onwards, always through the same wilder ness of old tree-stems hacked, and young trees thatd would be hacked ; at length we saw on a cleared space in the distance what I imagined to be a long brownj rock lying upon the surface ; but upon riding out of thel path to examine this object I found it was a splendidi trunk of a pine-tree more that two feet in diameter.) Why this had been spared for so many years I cannot^ say, but its size suggested reflections upon the originali forests that must have covered the surface and havel ornamented the once beautiful island of Cyprus ; nowi denuded, and shorn of every natural attraction. I again became angry ; visions of the past primaevall forests appeared before me, all of which had been) destroyed : and as formerly we hung a man in Eng land for cutting an oak sapling, I thought that the same cure for timber-destroying propensities might! save the few remaining forests in this island. While " indulging in this strain of unphilanthropic thought,;,

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